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Simon Duffy - Founder and Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform

Simon is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform. He speaks regularly on television and radio about the welfare state and social policy. He is best known for inventing personal budgets and for designing systems of self-directed support. He works as a consultant and researcher with local social innovators and national governments.



Jason Leman - Sheffield Equality Group

Sheffield Equality Group is an autonomous group affiliated to The Equality Trust, which aims to reduce the gap between rich and poor in the city of Sheffield. We argue for this because research finds this will create a better society. Meetings discuss practical and creative ways this can be achieved, from lobbying those in power to widely promoting the idea of greater equality.

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James Lock - OPUS Independents

James is founder and Managing Director of Opus Independents Ltd, a not-for-profit, independent organisation, working in culture, politics and the arts. Opus works to encourage and support participation, activism and creativity through mediums including in print, online and live events.

James has ten years of experience working in the third sector in a variety of project management and delivery roles. He also has experience in sales, marketing and promotion and a particular knowledge of independent trade, arts and culture sectors within the city.



Sam Walby - Now Then Magazine Editor in Chief

Sam is editor-in-chief of Sheffield magazine Now Then, as well as a director at Opus Independents, its parent company. Now Then champions independence in art, trade and journalism, with all articles written by local people. When not working on Now Then, Sam keeps himself busy with other Opus affiliated projects, including Festival of Debate, Wordlife and UBI Lab Sheffield.

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Mark Bryan - Reader in Economics: University of Sheffield

Mark is a Reader in the Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield. His research investigates people's experiences and outcomes in the labour market and their links with health and well-being.

He is particularly interested in how a UBI might change the operation of the labour market. As well as carrying out academic research, he has worked on policy-related projects for government and private-sector organisations, and is an expert on statistical techniques to assess the impacts of policy changes on the economy.



Abi Stevely - Sheffield Equality Group

Also a member of the Sheffield Equality Group, Abi is interested in how inequality affects health and well-being. She is currently studying drinking context and the acute harms associated with alcohol consumption at the University of Sheffield.

Her background is in Biomedical Science and Public Health. Previous projects include work on: innovative clinical trial design, the effect of drinking guidelines and survey methods of measuring alcohol consumption.

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Jonny Douglas - MADE with DESIGN

A creative consultancy specialising in ‘difference engineering’ for products and projects. The studio works across a diverse range of disciplines from product design to custom-made interiors, exhibition stands to outdoor advertising, concept generation to product investment pitches. 

Jonny is also an accomplished and inspirational change catalyst; dedicating time to being at the heart of a diverse range of cultural and strategic initiatives. He has a wealth of experience in ‘making things happen’, always seeking to push boundaries through creativity, collaboration and harnessing talent; striving to make the world better for everyone. He is a key part of projects that: tackle real issues, help and support start-ups, showcase and promote organisations, educate and inspire in a vast range of areas from business to music, creative industries to education.